Normans Bridal

It’s Official

Wedding Notes     Tips for Brides 


Legal issues related to weddings have a long history.

At one time, the mere act of living together made a man and a woman husband and wife. But over time, unions required more legal status. As civilizations developed and matured, laws were enacted that shaped the traditions and requirements.

The earliest known marriage certificate in existence is of a Hebrew marriage in Egypt in the 5th Century B.C. By the lst Century A.D. Jewish religious laws stipulated that a marriage without a contract was neither proper nor legal. The certificate defined a husband’s duties and provided for the wife should he divorce or predecease her. It detailed the date and place of marriage and since surnames were unknown, the bride and groom were carefully identified. The groom was responsible for writing the certificate, which had to be read publicly at the wedding.

The early Christian church adopted this custom and adapted the text by adding the obligation that the wife “love, cherish and honor” the husband.

For ancient Romans, the kiss was a legal bond. They held a betrothal ceremony at which the bride and groom joined right hands. The bride received a ring and then the couple kissed. The Christian church incorporated much of the betrothal ceremony into the marriage ceremony – including the kiss. It was transformed into the liturgical kiss of peace, which was to remind the couple of the sanctity of their union.

We are reminded that marriage is both a civil/ legal union and a personal commitment of two individuals to share their lives. Our consultants can help you understand the origins of many of our current traditions as well as guiding you in creating some new traditions of your own.

National Bridal Service / Weddings Beautiful Worldwide